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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: The Developer Tools March 1, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in Beta, BlogoSphere, Downloads Links, Paul Thurrott.
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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: The Developer Tools

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Microsoft included a pre-release version of Visual Studio 11 in the Windows 8 Developer Preview, of course, giving developers the tools they needed to get started on Metro-style app development. But with the Consumer Preview, these tools are available as a separate Beta download.

Last week, Microsoft provided a sneak peek of Visual Studio 11, though it didn’t speak much about Windows 8 developer issues specifically. I can tell you, however, that the Windows 8 platform–the Metro-based environment–was finalized about two months ago, so the versions of the APIs and platform we see now with the Consumer Preview is pretty close to complete. Too, the Visual Studio 11 Beta is close to final from a user experience standpoint.

So before we discuss anything else, you’ll want to get that download (and installation) going.

Click HERE to download the Visual Studio 11 Beta

(Note that the Beta will include separate downloads of Visual Studio 11 Ultimate, Premium, Professional, Test Professional, Team Foundation Server, Express for Windows 8, Express for Web, and Team Foundation Server Express. Visual C++, Visual C#, and Visual Basic Express editions are not available for this release.)………

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: User Experience and Fit and Finish Improvements March 1, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in BlogoSphere, Microsoft, Paul Thurrott, Software, Windows 8.
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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: User Experience and Fit and Finish Improvements

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With the Windows 8 Developer Preview, Microsoft made a promise about the future of Windows, a promise that is only now coming to fruition in the Consumer Preview. And that promise is this: While the major user experience changes in Windows 8 are indeed inspired by, and tailored to, multi-touch, they will work equally well with traditional PC interfaces, including keyboard, mouse, and trackpad.

Users who braved the Developer Preview hoping to garner some hint at this future, as I did for several painful months, came away disappointed. But that was by design, in the sense that Microsoft knew it had a certain amount of time to get the new, touch-based interfaces right, and it thus focused its efforts on shipping the new user experience first, while knowing that the keyboard and mouse/trackpad improvements could follow in a subsequent milestone.

But the Developer Preview wasn’t just incomplete from a user experience standpoint, it was also in some ways fundamentally incorrect. That is, because there were unfinished user interface bits, Microsoft had to implement small hacks just to get the Developer Preview out the door in a way that could be used………..